I've come to realize that I need to make or at least work on something creative everyday, otherwise I just feel off. I don't have to sit down and make up a masterpiece everyday, but having little projects I can work on for 20 minutes is my own little way of relaxing and centering myself.
Embroidery and cross stitch is a great craft for just those types of relaxing crafting, I can just grab my projects bag and sit and stitch away for 10 minutes or an hour while watching a bit of tv and just shove it back in the bag until next time, no muss, no fuss. I taught myself to cross stitch this year, after long admiring my friends prolific cross stitching skillz on a lovely baby blanket for my oldest, I thought I would give it a try myself. I attempted three projects, have finished two, and gave away the first without taking any photos. Typical me.
This is my second attempt, a little scene of the tenth doctor and his TARDIS. I stitched this up over our summer beach trip, and I was reminded that cross stitching takes FOREVER!
I think I figured out the TARDIS took me something like 8 hours to stitch up, which seems crazy, I am either a very slow stitcher or it is just an incredibly tedious craft. I had started another TARDIS with a pattern I bought on Etsy, but 4 hours in I just wasn't feeling the outcome to effort ratio and scrapped the whole thing. Also typical me. I appreciate the look and skill of cross stitch, and I'm happy to have a (very) basic knowledge to put in my toolbox, but I think it's safe to say it will always be the second fiddle to embroidery. I actually spent quite a bit of time embroidering this year, even though I can't seem to find much to show for my efforts to share. This year I will take pictures of things before I send them out into the world!
One of my first big projects this year was this Mermaid embroidery, from little dear. It has been saved in my etsy favorites forever and I finally caved and bought it to make for a present for a family member, then decided I couldn't part with it, and it currently resides in the girls room.
This was my first (and only) attempt at crayon tinting, and while I am usually not a huge fan of it, I think it was necessary for the pattern and looks pretty good.
I made this little crafty hoop for my first swap on Craftster, and it was a great experience and a lot of fun to make something with a stranger in mind. The theme of the swap was words, and I chose this from the list and drew up a little embroidery hoop and finished it with a little needle stuck through the fabric. Nothing mind blowing I know, but I worked hard to keep my stitches as nice as possible since I was sending it out in the world to be judged.
Fresh off the heels of that swap I stitched up the last two, a cute little saying and image stolen directly from Pinterest, and probably should have used a quieter background fabric, but oh well, I still like it! It was actually my first time using anything but white background fabric and I think I went a bit overboard. For some reason making the leap to nontraditional background fabric has been challenging for me, I think I over think it.
Then, there was a stitch along over at Follow the White Bunny that I said I was going to join, so I stitched up my piece and never said a word about it until now! She does some really amazing shading work and the tutorial is really good, even if my little cloud isn't the best example. I think I just need more practice. Shading is also another sneakily time consuming job, but once you get as good as Nicole it is worth every moment! As soon as I loaded up the piece in the hoop the youngest grabbed my little cloud and went and hung it up high on a nail in their room to enjoy, and there it has been hanging until I temporarily liberated it for it's yearbook photo. It is super tiny, 3" I think the smallest thing I have made yet.
I know I have more pieces of embroidery laying around in various stages of completion that I can't seem to find, including the whole chorus this song that just needs to be framed and hung, but I decided I'd better get these up before time completely passes me by and it's 2014 already.